(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – Building on a 2014-15 season that included a pair of podium finishes, the U.S. Women’s Foil Team opened the 2015-16 season with a bronze medal at the Cancun World Cup in Mexico on Sunday.
The medal win came on the heels of a long day of individual competition in which London OlympianNzingha Prescod (Brooklyn, N.Y.)earned a top-eight finish and two-time Senior World Team memberSabrina Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.)advanced to the 16. London OlympiansLee Kiefer (Lexington, Ky.)andNicole Ross (New York City, N.Y.)finished in the top 32 and 64, respectively.
Ranked No. 3 in the world after winning silver in Gdansk and gold at the Pan American Championships, Team USA opened with a 45-30 win over Brazil in the table of 16.
The quarter-finals would be a rematch of Team USA’s match for fifth at the 2015 World Championships. While Korea won their match in Moscow, the Americans dominated the match, defeating the 2012 Olympic bronze medalists by a score of 44-22.
Team USA fenced Italy, the reigning World in Olympic Champions, in the semis, but couldn’t produce an upset and dropped the match, 45-29.
In the bronze medal match, Prescod anchored the Americans to a 37-30 win over Germany.
On Saturday, Prescod earned Team USA’s best individual result with a sixth place finish just three months after winning her first bronze medal at the Senior World Championships.
Exempt from pools on Friday, Prescod won her opening direct elimination bout, 15-9, againstFlavia Johana Mormandi (ARG)and went on to defeat 2015 Pan Am bronze medalistSaskia Loretta Van Erven Garcia (COL), 15-8, in the 32
Prescod fenced 2012 Olympic team silver medalistLarissa Korobeynikova (RUS)in the table of 16 and edged the five-time Senior World medalist, 15-14.
In the quarters, Prescod took onElisa Di Francisca (ITA)– the 2012 Olympic Champion whom Prescod upset at the Senior World Championships this year. Di Francisca wasn’t about to be defeated, however, and took the bout, 15-12.
Prescod finished sixth overall in the fifth tournament of her 2016 Olympic campaign.
Two members of Team USA each advanced to the table of 16 – Massialas and three-time Senior World Team memberMargaret Lu (Greenwich, Conn.)
After a 2-4 result in pools on Friday, Massialas won two preliminary DE bouts to qualify as the 64thseed in the table of 64.
While the draw meant Massialas would face World No. 1Arianna Errigo (ITA), the Notre Dame freshman was up to the challenge and produced the tournament’s greatest upset when she dispatched the 2012 Olympic silver medalist and seven-time Senior World Champion by a score of 15-10.
Massialas won her next bout, 15-8, againstShiho Nishioka (JPN), but finished the day in 16thplace after a 15-5 lossMartina Batini (ITA).
Lu, who finished 5-1 in the pool rounds to advance to the second day, controlled her first DE bout on Saturday for a 15-5 win againstMartyna Synoradzka (POL)and defeatedPauline Ranvier (FRA), 15-13, in the 32.
In the table of 16, Lu lost her bout to four-time Senior World team medalistAstrid Guyart (FRA), 15-9, and finished 12thoverall.
Kiefer and her teammate on the squad that won gold at the 2014 Junior Worlds,Jackie Dubrovich (Riverdale, N.J.), each earned top-32 results.
Seeded fourth in the tournament, Kiefer was exempt from the pools and ended her first DE quickly with a 15-4 win againstIsis Gimenez (VEN). Kiefer’s run at a medal was stopped byAdelina Zagidullina (RUS)who won their bout, 15-12.
Ross fenced in the table of 64, but lost her bout to 2012 Olympic team silver medalistAida Shanaeva (RUS), 15-12.
Click here to view complete team results.
Click here to view complete individual results.
Top eight and U.S. results are as follows:
Cancun Women’s Team World Cup
3. USA4. Germany
Cancun Women’s Individual World Cup1. Ysaora Thibus (FRA)
2. Alice Volpi (ITA)
3. Martina Batini (ITA)
3. Elisa Di Francsica (ITA)
5. Inna Deriglazova (RUS)
6. Nzingha Prescod (Brooklyn, N.Y.)7. Valentina Vezzali (ITA)
8. Astrid Guyart (FRA)
For more information, contact N.Jomantas@usfencing.org.